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Glass Shower Doors Can Shatter, Causing Serious Harm

SANTA CLARITA VALLEY ( – Beware next time you pull your glass door to get in or out of the shower. The door can spontaneously shatter and cause you serious harm. It's an unexpected danger that has been happening all too often.

In August, Oliver Kwilinski was taking a shower when his glass shower door suddenly exploded—sending flying shards into his right arm and leg.

"I was shaking. It was really scary. It just shattered like a bomb. It went all over the place," the nine-year-old boy recalled. "But luckily, it didn't get on my head."

Oliver's mother, Amy Kwilinski, said "I heard what I thought was a bomb. The explosion was so loud that I ran upstairs expecting may be an airplane through my roof."

She lifted him out off the pile of sharp glass and called 9-1-1 before taking him to an emergency room.

"The cut on his arm is so close to the main vessels. If it would have hit on his wrist, he could have had severe bleeding." Mrs. Kwilinski recalled.  "We aren't going to install any glass doors ever until we see that they're safe to install."

Oliver is not alone. According to The Consumer Products Safety Commission, it has received nearly 200 complaints about shattering glass shower doors that had injured adults and children in the last two years. The complaints named different manufacturers.

Lilly Bruce of the Santa Clarita Valley had a similar experience. "It just exploded and I was like, I was screaming," the seven-year-old recalled.

She has three staples in her head, seven staples on her left leg plus stitches and cuts on her feet—all caused by an exploding shower door as well.

"All of a sudden I hear, like a big pop. I looked up at her head, and it was just gushing blood," said Lilly's mother, Rebecca Bruce. "And she just looked like she had been in a car accident."

Both mothers said they are not taking any chances and replaced their shower glass doors with curtains.

One industry expert suggests the excessive pressure on the door handles may be to blame. When pulled to get in and out of the shower, the pressure may have triggered the glass to break.

"I'm getting a little impatient with the industry. I wish we would get our act together," said Mark Meshulam, glass safety expert. Unfortunately, he said there are no industry safety standards. Even tempered glass can shatter.

Meshulam said "I believe these shower doors should be designed like car windshields, where the glass stays together even if it's broken."

He suggested coating the glass with a special film on the dry side of the shower door. "That film will hold the glass together and prevent it from falling in pieces," Meshulam said.

If you would like to have the special film applied to your shower door, he recommends searching the term "window security film" along with your ZIP code on Google to find a professional to install the film for about $150 to $200.

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